Leeds Rhinos A-Z - 'W' is for...World wars

The Thiepval memorial in France features the names of first world war soldiers with no known grave, including Leeds' Great Britain Test star Billy Jarman. Picture: Submitted.The Thiepval memorial in France features the names of first world war soldiers with no known grave, including Leeds' Great Britain Test star Billy Jarman. Picture: Submitted.
The Thiepval memorial in France features the names of first world war soldiers with no known grave, including Leeds' Great Britain Test star Billy Jarman. Picture: Submitted. | other
Boosted by guest players, Leeds competed throughout the 1914-18 and 1939-45 conflicts.

Future Rugby League Hall of Fame members Harold Wagstaff and Albert Rosenfelt, who starred for Huddersfield in their 35-2 win over Leeds in the 1915 Championship final, were among players drafted in for occasional appearances during World War One.

Fifty one Leeds players enlisted and nine who had appeared for the first team were killed: Sid Abbott, David Blakey, Joseph Hopkins, Billy Jarman, Leonard Leckenby, Arthur Llewellyn, Joseph Pickles, James Sanders and Belfred Ward.

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Second team players killed were HE Bannister, J Harkness, L Farrar, B Thorpe, N Parker, George Pickard and GR White.

Courtney Hill with the Betfred Women's Super League trophy. Picture by Steve Riding.Courtney Hill with the Betfred Women's Super League trophy. Picture by Steve Riding.
Courtney Hill with the Betfred Women's Super League trophy. Picture by Steve Riding. | reuters

Blakey, Pickles and Hopkins all died on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

Leeds appeared in three Challenge Cup finals during the Second World War, winning the trophy in 1941 and 42 and being runners-up the following year.

Oliver Morris, half-back in the two Cup wins, was killed in action in Italy in 1944.

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Les ‘Juicy’ Adams, a former Leeds player, died when his aircraft was shot down over Japan the same year.

Barrie McDermott and Kevin Sinfield celebrate winning the World Club Challenge in 2005. Piture by Mark BickerdikeBarrie McDermott and Kevin Sinfield celebrate winning the World Club Challenge in 2005. Piture by Mark Bickerdike
Barrie McDermott and Kevin Sinfield celebrate winning the World Club Challenge in 2005. Piture by Mark Bickerdike | jpimedia

Adams played for Huddersfield and Castleford after Leeds - winning a Challenge Cup with all three clubs.

He appeared as a guest player for Leeds on Christmas Day, 1942, when his half-back partnership with Morris inspired the Loiners to a 36-5 win over Oldham at Headingley.

‘W’ is also for...Women’s team. Coached by Adam Cuthbertson, Rhinos’ women made their debut in 2018, topping the Super League table that year. They beat Castleford Tigers in the Challenge Cup final and were pipped by Wigan Warriors in the final moments of the title decider.

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Last season they slipped to fourth in the table, but retained the Cup with another victory over Tigers and beat the same opposition to become Super League champions.

Captain Courtney Hill is the reigning Woman of Steel and full-back Caitlin Beevers was a BBC young sports person of the year nominee in 2019.

Lois Forsell, who retired as a player last year due to a long-term knee injury, has taken over as coach for 2020.

‘W’ is also for...World champions. Rhinos were took the title of the planet’s best team in 2004 (beating Canterbury Bulldogs), 2008 (Melbourne Storm) and 2012 (Manly Sea Eagles) and were World Club Challenge runners-up in 2009 (to Manly), 2010 (Melbourne), 2013 (Melbourne), 2016 (North Queensland Cowboys) and 2018 (Melbourne).

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